There was a time when you might not exclaim loudly that you are a Microsoft developer.
In light of the years gone by of DOJ hearings and reports of monopolistic practices - Microsoft hasn't always had the best name in the industry. But lately that stance has changed a lot...
Now you could point to people like Robert Scoble who made great strides in opening the doors to Microsoft. His work gave customers and developers a chance to get closer to the people to make Microsoft's products - but there still remained a stigma.
These days Microsoft is turning a huge corner.
Take a quick glance at what people at Microsoft are doing and you might be surprised. The ASP.NET team is busy implementing the MVC framework that makes it possible for developers to use alternate rendering engines other than stock ASP.NET MVC engine. Microsoft works intimately with the Web Standards Project to make a standards-based browser and Silverlight works on a Mac for crying out loud!
Now it's a time for openness...
Today Microsoft has announced that:
"starting today Microsoft will openly publish on MSDN over 30,000 pages
of documentation for Windows client and server protocols that were
previously available only under a trade secret license"
will provide access to patented protocols at "low royalty rates"
and - get this - they even went so far as to bench the lawyers:
"Microsoft is providing a covenant not to sue open source developers for development or non-commercial distribution of implementations of these protocols"
To sum it all up the goals of the effort are to:
- Ensuring open connections
- Promoting data portability
- Enhancing support for industry standards
- Fostering more open
engagement with customers and the industry, including open source
Sure a lot of people will go with the default stance of "they must have something else up their sleeve", but when its your goal to open up your software, make it more affordable, unlock user's data and leave developers alone - what's left?
(Hat-tip Jesse Chadwick)